Column no. 150 - 141
You will see columns in the past; what I noticed about/in Thailand, about
differences between Thailand and Japan and so on.
I'm wondering how long I can continue writing a column... :D
no.150 - Thai beer -
| What kind of beer do you know they have in Thailand ?
I guess some of you remember 'Beer Chang', 'Singha' and 'Kloster Beer'.
The other day, the webmaster of a Singha beer website told me that the association of Japanese anniversaries registered 8th of April as a Singha beer day in Japan.
Why 8th of April is, "Sing" of Singha sounds four in Japanese and "Ha" of Singha is eight in Thai language.
By the way, "Chang" is an elephant, "Singha" is a lion. They have other kinds of beer such as Leo, Heineken, and Asahi as well.
In Thailand, some people drink beer with ice. Is it because it's very warm in Thailand ? Hmmm, beer tastes better and better if it gets colder and colder ? :)
no.149 - Ajitsuke nori - flavored seaweed -
| Do you know ajitsuke nori (flavored laver) ?
It's a little sweet. You can eat it out of hand and it's also okay to eat it with rice.
By the way, I didn't expect but my wife's family in Thailand like this ajitsuke nori very much. Especially kids love it.
Speaking of Thailand, I thought they eat only spicy food but kids cannot at first. While they grow up, they get to eat spicy food. As I'm not good at spicy food, this sounds a little mysterious.
The kids like to eat ajitsuke nori plain as a snack, and my wife often take it back with her when she goes back home in Thailand as a gift.
When you go to Thailand, ajitsuke nori can be a good Japanese gift. Easy to buy also. :D
no.148 - bathroom scale -
| Hi, Everybody, do you take good care of yourself ?
I can't say I do as a smoker. (My lovely wife always pays attention to my health and has kept tell me to quit smoking for a long long time.)
Talking about health, some of you might remember "bathroom scale".
In Japan or in your country also, a family usually has a bathroom scale. On the other hand, in Thailand, not really. This doesn't mean people in Thailand don't check their body weight, they do, but they have bathroom scales in department stores.
When you go to Thailand, visit a department store and check around carefully. You'll see kind of big bathroom scales. You can check your weight with one Baht.
At first, I thought it was a game machine or something.
One of what I noticed in Thailand is, most young people are slender. Because of this, I didn't think they care about their weight but I hear that teenagers do these days. This doesn't mean they go on a diet like Japanese young people using diet products or skipping meals. They exercise to keep in shape. Hmmm, healthy.
I don't need to diet but I should quit smoking and exercise for my health. :D
no.147 - Thank you / Thank you for the meal -
| It's difficult to learn foreign language, right ?
It's the same to me. My Thai language doesn't make progress easily and when I'm in Thailand with my wife's family, I often don't understand what they are talking about and I'm just smiling in that case. :D
I wrote about Japanese language of my wife's mom before in the column no.70 - Thank you / Delicious, but it's a different story about another Thai woman this time.
The details are not so clear but some troubles made her keep waiting for a long long time on a train in Japan. The train was being stopped between stations. She was exhausted. Finally, a train staff lead her to the exit and she went out from the train.
She was so happy and relieved, and wanted to say thank you very much, "Arigatou gozai-masshita" in Japanese. She said "Arigatou" but the left "gozai-mashita" didn't come up in her mind. She tried hard to remember it and the phrase she said after a while was not "gozai-mashita" but "Gochisou-sama-deshita". That is, she said to the staff "Arigatou .... Gochisou-sama-deshita".
(Thank you (arigatou) .... Thank you for the meal ! (Gochisou-sama-deshita))
I don't know how the staff responded to it, but anyway, learning foreign language is difficult. :)
no.146 - Chocolate -
| While I didn't know that, Saint Valentine's Day is around the corner
I guess some people are excited or some are nervous while waiting for that day, right ?
(This situation may be different from in Japan, though.)
Different from Japan, Thailand doesn't have a custom to give chocolates to a man from a woman (See no.74: Saint Valentine's Day) but even so, chocolates look popular among people. This might be only around me but ROYCE'S chocolates are very popular among my wife's family and friends in Thailand and I bought 6 packs as gifts last time.
Until then, I'd never heard of "ROYCE'S" because chocolates are not my favorite, but when I checked their homepage (in Japanese), I found that it's a Japanese chocolate manufacturing company and they have various kinds of chocolates. The number one chocolate my wife's family and friends love is, maybe, the one called "Grand Marnier". You'll see from the appearance that they are soft and pleasant on the tongue and this is why the chocolate attracts them.
You can buy it in the Narita Airport and if you pay 100 yen more, they will wrap it with dry ice (an insulated bag) not to melt.
When Thai people go back to Thailand, it's easy for them to get it and this makes the chocolate even more popular among them, I guess.
If you are going to Thailand, how about taking ROYCE' Chocolates with you as a gift ? :)
no.145 - Nok Air -
| I often travel on a domestic flight. This time, I tried "Nok
Air" the other day. You maybe know Nok Air as one of low cost
airlines or already tried the airline.
(Nok Air: http://www.nokair.com/)
"Nok" means "bird" in Thai language and their air planes are designed like a bird. They look very cute and it made me feel like I wanted to fly by Nok Air someday.
In a while after the plane departs from the Bangkok airport, three air attendants are introduced by themselves in front of passengers. Wow, I've never seen this kind of situation and what's more, each of them call herself as "Nok xxx (name)". It was cute and fun.
They didn't serve a meal because of a low cost airline, I guess, but instead, they had a drink and food menu and you can order something to eat like in a cafe.
It was very curious to me and I ordered a "Nok Mawai Ramen"(noodle). After a while, I found out the Ramen was a little big cup noodle. Anyway, it was delicious because I was hungry. :D It was a little bit funny because I'd never had such food on a flight, like you have something to eat on an super express, Shinkansen, in Japan..
By the way, there was no introduction of air attendants on the way back to Bangkok. Hmmm, I felt a little sorry.
I want to try Nok air again someday. :)
no.144 - Buddhist chanting -
| There is a Buddhist chanting in Thailand which people chant three
times when they visit a temple or when they go to sleep:
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma SamBuddhasa
นะโมตัสสะ ภควะโต อรหะโต สัมมา สัมพุทธัสสะ
(It's called Namo Saam Job in Thai language to recite this phrase three times.)
It seems that this chanting comes from Pali language.
There is a chanting in Japan "Namu amidabutsu", which has the same meaning of the chanting in Thailand.
I checked those chantings on the net and found that "Namu" of "Namu amidabutsu" in Japan is the same as "Namo" of Thailand and what's more the "Namu" originally came from "Namo" in Sanskrit language and means homage or respect.
Languages and cultures are different between Thailand and Japan, and Buddhism is also different; "Theravada" in Thailand and "Mahayana" in Japan. However they have chantings that have the same syllabic sound and meaning. No wonder to those who have a detailed knowledge of Buddhism but this is very curious to me.
I often visit temples in Thailand and I think I only enjoy the scenery. It will be wonderful if I have better understanding of what people believe and know more about Thailand, not only enjoy the scenery.
no.142 - Be careful when you go abroad -
| While I didn't know that, New Year's is around the corner ! Gee.
Time does fly fast ! I'm sure a lot of people are going on a trip
Speaking of going abroad, I'll think of airplanes. I heard some accidents of airplanes this year, so, be careful when you go abroad by air, everyone. :)
Everytime when you are on an airplane, you will see a video that shows how to wear an air jacket, escape routes, how to put an oxygen mask on and such just in case. When I was on the plane from Bangkok to Chiangmai in Thailand, I noticed that a flight attendant was showing how to wear a mask in front of passengers.
I often use domestic flights in Thailand and this was the first time to see not a video but an air-hostess was actually explaining it.
By the way, they say that when an accident of an airplane happened and it was broadcast on TV or in the newspaper, one of flight attendants said, "Everytime passengers don't pay attention to my explanation but this time, everybody kept watching me seriously". :D
no.141 - When you have a stomachache in Thailand,.... -
| Try and keep in good shape especially when you go somewhere you don't
get used to.
What should you do if you have a stomachache in Thailand ?
It's very good for you to take medicine you usually use with you but if you have a stomachache in Thailand, someone maybe give you blackish liquid medicine. It's called "Yaa Thaat" and it seems like every family has it.
When I had a stomachache and tried the medicine for the first time, to tell you the truth, I hesitated to take it, wondering if it's really okay or not because of the color. (I'd never tried that kind of colored medicine.)
And, they have another medicine (ointment ) called "Yaa Mong". When you apply it on your skin, it makes the part warm. Not only for stomachache but when you bump your hand or leg on something, you can put it on the part or when you have a headache, you also can put it around temples.
(I don't know if it works or not, though.)
I've once put it on my stomach when I had a stomachache to make my stomach warm, but I felt cooler than warmer. Why ?
Anyway, the best way when you have a stomachache, go and see a doctor !